Invisibility by Design: Women and Labor in Japan's Digital Economy

Invisibility by Design: Women and Labor in Japan's Digital Economy

by Gabriella Lukács

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In the wake of labor market deregulation during the 2000s, online content sharing and social networking platforms were promoted in Japan as new sites of work that were accessible to anyone. Enticed by the chance to build personally fulfilling careers, many young women entered Japan's digital economy by performing unpaid labor as photographers, net idols, bloggers, online traders, and cell phone novelists. While some women leveraged digital technology to create successful careers, most did not. In Invisibility by Design Gabriella Lukács traces how these women's unpaid labor became the engine of Japan's digital economy. Drawing on interviews with young women who strove to sculpt careers in the digital economy, Lukács shows how platform owners tapped unpaid labor to create innovative profit-generating practices without employing workers, thereby rendering women's labor invisible. By drawing out the ways in which labor precarity generates a demand for feminized affective labor, Lukács underscores the fallacy of the digital economy as a more democratic, egalitarian, and inclusive mode of production.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781478007180
Publisher: Duke University Press
Publication date: 01/03/2020
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 248
Sales rank: 917,992
File size: 12 MB
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About the Author

Gabriella Lukács is Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Pittsburgh and author of Scripted Affects, Branded Selves: Television, Subjectivity, and Capitalism in 1990s Japan, also published by Duke University Press.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments  vii
Introduction. Labor and Gender in Japan's Digital Economy  1
1. Disidentifications: Women, Photography, and Everyday Patriarchy  30
2. The Labor of Cute: Net Idols in the Digital Economy  57
3. Career Porn: Blogging and the Good Life  81
4. Working without Sweating: Amateur Traders and the Financialization of Daily Life  106
5. Dreamwork: Cell Phone Novelists, Affective Labor, and Precarity Politics  132
Epilogue. Digital Labor, Labor Precarity, and Basic Income 155
Notes  167
References  207
Index  225

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